By Angeline M Duran Santiago
I am more than positive there are countless reasons to desire moving up into a position of leadership and/or ministry in your place of employment of place of worship.
If you allow me, I would like to look at the two different kinds of people that move into or are called into the role of leader, administrator, manager, supervisor, or pastor.
Let me introduce you to Person A. This person is kind, hard working, and can be a good friend to some people. This person smiles around you, but longs to be you. This person sees you rising and shining in what you do, and they begin to hang around you, get your superior's attention, start to mimic you, and actually begin to move in your circles of influence to get noticed.
Jealousy and envy are big motivations for this person because when they see your creativity at work, they want it. When they see your accomplishment, they feel they should be the person getting the pat on the back. They long for the spotlight, the applause, and the benefits that come with such roles, especially the attention. Many of these people, like Person A, work to become your friend until they get you dismissed, fired, or in church, removed from your place in ministry and they take over what you established or created. They point the finger at you and remind others that your inability to be like them has led to your demise and failure, all the while concealing the darkness in their hearts and their never ending schemes.
Person A will sometimes turn into a tyrant, pharaoh kind of leader, afraid to lose followers so they rule with fear, belittling, embarrassing and harassing workers or people that help them. They never apologize and feel they're always right. They've gotten to their position the wrong way and always walk on eggs, afraid to be discovered for their true colors.
I've been around Person A at work and in church. This person is like a leach that pretends to be on your side but all the while they are sowing seeds of hatred, gossip and false accusations against you. These people eventually do get placed in leadership or ministry. Some even do well because they always wanted the opportunity to work and do something great. They just went about it the wrong way and hurt so many as they climbed to the top.
The other person, Person B, is a person that sees leadership, ministry and the title as nothing more than a synonym to servant-hood. Person B has identified the privilege to serve by looking at his or her mentors, teachers, and leaders that inspired and gave an example that showed true leading of others. Person B looks has the spotlight, the crowds, the invitations to dinners and bar bqs, the opportunity to be in the front speaking and sharing, but never sees it as a reason to mistreat or belittle anyone.
Person B knows being a leader is not just a big task, but a calling, a personal calling to be an example, inspire, listen, counsel and encourage others to become leaders, too. This person is not afraid to make mistakes because they're not afraid to say, "Sorry." They are at peace to be accountable before others because Person B has shown that we all make mistakes, we all need a second chance, and we all need room to grow.
This person is often the target of criticism, false accusations, people trying to get them to step down, jealous friends, and never ending challenges. This person, Person B, knows how to be lonely at times because those who claim to love them, are only around while they can get something from them. Person B is often misquoted, spoken against, and attacked to demoralize, discourage, break down and tear apart to see if they'll quit.
Person B, recognizes the job before him or her and relentlessly gives their all to perform beyond and above in the midst of scandal and false testimony. They remember their gifts, their talents, their passion for what they do and press onward, giving without regret or looking back, forgiving and loving. Person B continues to serve with love, be kind and encouraging when back are turned and most decide you should leave.
True leadership is seen in the life of Jesus, who repeatedly tells us He came to serve everyone. He never makes a big deal about His title, but makes a big deal about showing what leading in love and making a difference is all about. Here you have the King of Kings giving, sharing, teaching, giving examples, leading and admonishing with love.
Matthew 10:28 Mark 10:45
True leadership is seen in Principal Madeline Cartwright, as seen in The Jossey-Bass Reader on Educational Leadership in "Stewardship in Practice". She saw the needs of her students and went out and purchased washer machine and dryer to make sure students in her school had clean clothes and would come to school. She put her leader's hat to the side and got on her knees to clean up with love and by example.
True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders. Robert Townsend on Leadership (Quote)
True leadership is seen in countless family members that sacrifice their time and gifts to help one another, placing their needs last, and our needs first so that we can go to school, work, and become the leaders we have called to be.
I guess I'll end on this note. We can push ourselves and manipulate our way into leadership roles and ministry position with a heart full of envy, bitterness, and anger and no one can stop that. We can work toward trying to be someone we are not, wanting someone else's life or position and thinking we'll be satisfied being them. Or, we can look inside ourselves and find that we are all called to do something great. I don't have to be you or want to be like you because we all have gifts, talents, abilities to lead, inspire and do great things. Tormenting and destroying someone's career or ministry in church to your advantage can't really leave you feeling so wonderful when you're alone and have to look in the mirror.
I don't know. I just felt like too many people are so hungry to be placed in a position of leadership for the wrong reasons. I've been in leadership for most of my life, especially more in the church. It has never been easy. It has always been a blessing filled with lots of prayer and lots of forgiving. Where would you place yourself, person A or person B? This is something to think about not only for work, but your personal life.